BY: FREDRICK NGUGI
Many cultures and communities in Africa have always viewed women as the weaker sex, forcing them to believe that their main role is in the kitchen or taking care of the family. But in the midst of such discrimination, a group of brave women found a way to gain immense power in such male-dominated societies. Displaying intelligence, perseverance, and leadership, these special women left an impact on the continent that can be felt to this day.
Candace (The Empress of Ethiopia)
in 332 B.C., the Ethiopian army was commanded by one of the strongest generals of that time, Empress Candace. Historically, Candace was known to have great military commanding skills, which helped her become one of the strongest female military tacticians of all time. Candace was reportedly blind in one eye, which she lost in a battle with the Romans. Candace, whose real name was Amanirenas, is remembered for her ferocious, strategic, and uniting abilities on the battlefield.
Neferti (Queen of Kemet, Egypt)
Queen Neferti is most remembered for her bold decision to end the longstanding war between lower Kemet and Upper Kemet. In order to pacify existing tensions between the two warring sides, she made a strategic move to marry the Pharaoh of Lower Kemet, Ramses II. Along with her husband, Neferti established the cult of Aten, the sun god, and promoted Egyptian artwork that was radically different from its predecessors.
Queen Makeda (Queen of Sheba, Ethiopia)
A so referred to as the Queen of Sheba, Queen Makeda is one of the most celebrated African queens in history. Other than being mentioned in the Bible, Makeda made great achievements during her reign 3,000 years ago. She is hailed as the embodiment of Divine Wisdom. In other paintings, she is referred to as the foreteller of the cult of the Holy Cross. Her visit to King Solomon in Israel has been retold countless times by Jews, Arabs, and Ethiopians.
Queen Amina (Queen of Zaria, Nigeria)
Queen Amina, also known as Aminatu, lived in the 15th century and is remembered as a powerful Hausa warrior and the grand-daughter of King Sarkin. She became the queen of the Zazzau Kingdom following the death of her younger brother, Karama. Her military prowess and command earned her great respect throughout the kingdom.
Yaa Asantewaa (Ghana)
ueen Yaa Asantewaa is best remembered as the woman who heroically fought against British colonizers until she was exiled. History indicates that she used her oratory skills to inspire village chiefs to fight back against colonialists. She also encouraged her people to take up arms and fight for the release of King Prempeh. Although she was eventually captured, Queen Asantewaa is remembered as the last African woman to lead a decisive battle against colonialists. A national holiday is held in Ghana each year to celebrate her accomplishments.
BY: FREDRICK NGUGI